Born in about 998 Harald took over the rule of his father's earldom of Lade, then a virtually independent entity, when he joined Sweyn Forkbeard's invasion of England. His uncle Sveinn would establish a joint rule over the earldom giving Harald joint rule over Hordaland in return.
Both co-kings would be exiled from Hordaland after Olaf I's victory at the Battle of Primsigð in 1015. Sveinn would go to Svealand where he would die the following year plotting his return. Harald meanwhile abandoned Lade which was briefly subsumed into Olaf's Hordaland and followed his father to Anglia. He would serve Cnut I there, becoming Earl of Northantonshire. He is also recorded as governing the Sudreyar between 1016 and 1030.
He may have been offered the throne of Hordaland once more when Cnut defeated Olaf I in 1028, however a dispute in Man prevented him from taking up the post. The regency went to his cousin Sveinn Sigurdsson instead. Harald would continue to serve Cnut and Harald I Harefoot, dying soon after the Battle of London in 1041 which cemented Danish rule of Anglia.